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Become A Writer/Reporter

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Working As A Writer/Reporter

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $52,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Writer/Reporter Do

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts inform the public about news and events happening internationally, nationally, and locally. They report the news for newspapers, magazines, websites, television, and radio.

Duties

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts typically do the following:

  • Research topics and stories that an editor or news director has assigned to them
  • Interview people who have information, analysis, or opinions about a story or article
  • Write articles for newspapers, blogs, and magazines and write scripts to be read on television or radio
  • Review articles for accuracy and proper style and grammar
  • Develop relationships with experts and contacts who provide tips and leads on stories
  • Analyze and interpret information to increase their audiences’ understanding of the news
  • Update stories as new information becomes available

Reporters and correspondents, also called journalists, often work for a particular type of media organization, such as a television or radio station, newspaper, or website.

Those who work in television and radio set up and conduct interviews, which can be broadcast live or recorded for future broadcasts. These workers are often responsible for editing interviews and other recordings to create a cohesive story and for writing and recording voiceovers that provide the audience with the facts of the story. They may create multiple versions of the same story for different broadcasts or different media platforms.

Most television and radio shows have hosts, also called anchors, who report the news and introduce stories from reporters.

Journalists for print media conduct interviews and write articles to be used in newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Because most newspapers and magazines have print and online versions, reporters typically produce content for both versions. Doing so often requires staying up to date with new developments of a story so that the online editions can be updated with the most current information.

Some journalists may convey stories through both broadcast and print media, as well as help manage the organization’s web content. For example, television stations often have a website, and a reporter may post a blog or an article for the website. Similarly, a reporter working for newspapers or magazines may create videos or podcasts that people access online.

Stations are increasingly relying on multimedia journalists to publish content on a variety of platforms, including radio and television stations, websites, and mobile devices. Multimedia journalists typically record, report, write, and edit their own stories. They also gather the audio, video, or graphics that accompany their stories.

Reporters and correspondents may need to maintain a presence on social media networking sites. Many use social media to cover live events, provide additional information for readers and viewers, promote their stations and newscasts, and engage better with their audiences.

Some journalists, particularly those in large cities or large news organizations, cover a particular topic, such as sports, medicine, or politics. Journalists who work in small cities, towns, or organizations may need to cover a wider range of subjects.

Some reporters live in other countries and cover international news.

Some reporters—particularly those who work for print news—are self-employed and take freelance assignments from news organizations. Freelance assignments are given to writers on an as-needed basis. Because freelance reporters are paid for the individual story, they work with many organizations and often spend some of their time marketing their stories and looking for their next assignment.

Some people with a background as a reporter or correspondent work as postsecondary teachers and teach journalism or communications at colleges and universities.

Broadcast news analysts are another type of media occupation. Broadcast news analysts are often called upon to provide their opinion, rather than reporting, on a particular news story. They may appear on television, radio, or in print and offer their opinion to viewers, listeners, or readers. However, most broadcast news analysts come from fields outside of journalism and have expertise in a particularly subject—for example, politics, business, or medicine—and are hired on a contract basis to provide their opinion of the subjects being discussed. Becoming a broadcast news analyst is typically not a career path for new journalists.

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How To Become A Writer/Reporter

Employers generally prefer to hire reporters and correspondents who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications along with an internship or work experience from a college radio or television station or a newspaper.

Education

Most employers prefer workers who have a bachelor’s degree in journalism or communications. However, some employers may hire applicants who have a degree in a related subject, such as English or political science, and relevant work experience.

Bachelor’s degree programs in journalism and communications include classes in journalistic ethics and techniques for researching stories and conducting interviews. Some programs may require students to take liberal arts classes, such as English, history, economics, and political science, so that students are prepared to cover stories on a wide range of subjects.

Some journalism students may benefit from classes in multimedia design, coding, and programming. Because content is increasingly being delivered on television, websites, and mobile devices, reporters need to know how to develop stories with video, audio, data, and graphics.

Some schools offer graduate programs in journalism and communications. These programs prepare students who have a bachelor’s degree in another field to become journalists.

Other Experience

Employers generally require workers to have experience gained through internships or by working on school newspapers. While attending college, many students seek multiple internships with different news organizations. These internships allow students the opportunities to work on stories and put together a portfolio of their best writing samples or on-air appearances.

Advancement

After gaining more work experience, reporters and correspondents can advance by moving from news organizations in small cities or towns to news organizations in large cities. Larger markets offer job opportunities with higher pay and more responsibility and challenges. Reporters and correspondents also may become editors or news directors.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Journalists must be able to report the news both verbally and in writing. Strong writing skills are important for journalists in all kinds of media.

Computer skills. Journalists should be able to use editing equipment and other broadcast-related devices.

Interpersonal skills. To develop contacts and conduct interviews, reporters need to build good relationships with many people. They also need to work well with other journalists, editors, and news directors.

Objectivity. Journalists need to report the facts of the news without inserting their opinion or bias into the story.

Persistence. Sometimes, getting the facts of a story is difficult, particularly when those involved refuse to be interviewed or provide comment. Journalists need to be persistent in their pursuit of the story.

Stamina. The work of journalists is often fast paced and exhausting. Reporters must be able to keep up with the additional hours of work.

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Writer/Reporter Career Paths

Writer/Reporter
Editor Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Editor Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Editor Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Communications Manager Communications Director
Director Of Public Affairs
7 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Owner Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Communications Manager Director Of Communications And Marketing
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Communications Manager Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Public Relations Manager Public Relations Director
Public Relations And Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Producer Owner Communications Director
Deputy Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Producer Senior Editor Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Producer Senior Editor Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Content Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Anchor Executive Producer Communications Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Anchor Public Information Officer
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Specialist Public Information Officer
Public Affairs Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Anchor Executive Producer Social Media Manager
Digital Communications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Specialist Communications Consultant Marketing And Communication Consultant
Vice President, Corporate Communications
11 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Free Lance Writer 4.0 years
Newspaper Reporter 3.3 years
Lead Writer 2.8 years
Reporter 2.7 years
Journalist 2.7 years
Feature Writer 2.6 years
News Reporter 2.5 years
Staff Reporter 2.2 years
Newspaper Writer 2.1 years
Freelance Reporter 2.0 years
Writer/Reporter 2.0 years
Staff Writer 2.0 years
Writer 2.0 years
News Writer 1.9 years
Beat Reporter 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Writer/Reporter
Internship 16.5%
Reporter 13.6%
Writer 6.4%
Editor 6.1%
Server 5.3%
Cashier 3.3%
Volunteer 3.1%
Assistant 2.5%
Teacher 2.2%
Anchor 2.2%
Top Careers After Writer/Reporter
Internship 11.8%
Reporter 10.7%
Writer 9.7%
Editor 9.5%
Server 4.2%
Teacher 2.9%
Columnist 2.6%
Producer 2.4%

Do you work as a Writer/Reporter?

Writer/Reporter Demographics

Gender

Female

50.5%

Male

38.4%

Unknown

11.2%
Ethnicity

White

60.3%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

8.0%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.4%

French

15.8%

Italian

6.0%

Chinese

5.3%

Portuguese

3.8%

Arabic

3.8%

Mandarin

3.0%

Japanese

2.3%

Hindi

1.5%

Swedish

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Marathi

0.8%

Hmong

0.8%

Korean

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Balinese

0.8%

Indonesian

0.8%

Bengali

0.8%

Russian

0.8%

Greek

0.8%
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Writer/Reporter Education

Schools

New York University

9.6%

Emerson College

7.6%

Columbia College Chicago

6.8%

Pennsylvania State University

6.0%

University of Florida

5.6%

Northwestern University

5.2%

Temple University

5.2%

Syracuse University

4.8%

Columbia University

4.8%

University of Southern California

4.4%

University of Kentucky

4.4%

Indiana University Bloomington

4.4%

Ohio University -

4.0%

Wayne State University

4.0%

George Washington University

4.0%

University of Washington

4.0%

Northern Illinois University

4.0%

American University

4.0%

Hofstra University

4.0%

San Francisco State University

3.6%
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Majors

Journalism

32.9%

Communication

17.5%

English

9.5%

Public Relations

4.8%

Writing

4.5%

Business

3.8%

Agricultural Public Services

3.5%

Political Science

3.5%

History

2.5%

Marketing

2.3%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.2%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.9%

Photography

1.8%

Psychology

1.6%

Law

1.5%

Digital Media

1.4%

Elementary Education

1.3%

Fine Arts

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.1%

Computer Networking

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

59.7%

Masters

18.5%

Other

14.2%

Certificate

2.9%

Associate

2.7%

Doctorate

1.3%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$52,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$33,000
Min 10%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$52,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
NYP Holding
Highest Paying City
New York, NY
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does a Writer/Reporter make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Writer/Reporter in the United States is $52,077 per year or $25 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $33,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $80,000.

Real Writer/Reporter Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Writer/Reporter Vocativ, LLC New York, NY May 20, 2014 $84,000 -
$100,000
Reporter/Writer The Boston Korean MA Sep 28, 2012 $54,262
Reporter/Writer Sing Tao Newspapers New York Ltd. New York, NY Jul 28, 2011 $45,000
Reporter/Writer E.D.I. Media, Inc. West Covina, CA Aug 01, 2014 $42,000
Reporter/Writer Raad Productions, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Mar 23, 2015 $38,400
Reporter/Writer Raad Productions LLC Los Angeles, CA Jun 16, 2014 $38,400
Reporter/Writer E.D.I. Media, Inc. West Covina, CA Sep 18, 2013 $36,000
Writer/Reporter FMR Communications Chicago, IL Sep 13, 2013 $32,000
Reporter/Writer The Boston Korea MA Oct 01, 2011 $31,806

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Top Skills for A Writer/Reporter

  1. News Stories
  2. Student Newspaper
  3. Feature
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Drafted and revised news stories for morning broadcasts for the University of Kentucky student-run radio station.
  • Freelance feature article writer and mobile journalist for the student newspaper and website at California State University, Fullerton.
  • Drive magazine advertising revenue through engaging featured articles with local contacts.
  • Researched, reported and wrote content for a print and online publication distributed to over 10K patrons.
  • Researched and interviewed individuals for major press releases.

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Top 10 Best States for Writer/Reporters

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New York
  3. Alaska
  4. Louisiana
  5. Florida
  6. California
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Nevada
  9. New Jersey
  10. Arizona
  • (45 jobs)
  • (188 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)
  • (72 jobs)
  • (171 jobs)
  • (57 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)
  • (33 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)

Top Writer/Reporter Employers

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Jobs From Top Writer/Reporter Employers

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